Archive | 2:48 pm

Do Not Reject Rejection….Learn From It!

11 Mar

003And a very Happy Tuesday to you all! I hope this past weekend was restful for you and you are attacking this week with a torrent of words.  Bev and I spent the weekend spring cleaning and doing assorted chores.  Not my favorite activity but one that had to be done.  We ended up taking tons of stuff to the Goodwill, and now we have some serious closet and cupboard space.

And I am feeling my oats and ready to go.  As you know, I am in the first re-write of my novel…working title “The Long Walk Home”….and I’ll be done with that in two weeks and then the final re-write before I ask some people to read it for me as a test market.  Sometime in April it will all be done, and then I’ll start looking for an agent/publisher and also start the ebook publishing process.  I’m about a month behind but I’m not concerned about it.  This book is too important to me to rush it.

Let’s start with a quote and then we’ll get to the message today.


There’s nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.

James Lee Burke
From my favorite mystery writer. If you have never read any of Burke’s works then you really owe it to yourself to do so. The man is a genius at painting a scene and his dialogue is first-rate….and he ain’t a bad story-teller either.


Oh yes, rejection!  How we hate it as writers. Whether it be a rejection letter from a publisher or a negative comment from a reader, rejection settles into our bone marrow and makes us cold at night.

But the thing is….and the thing that Burke talks about….is the fact that if we really want to grow as writers then we need to take that inventory of ourselves.  What caused the rejection? Is there validity in the words of the one who rejected us?  What can I do differently based on the rejection? Is the rejection valid?

My first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” was summarily rejected by every agent/publisher who considered it.  Some rejections were nice; others’ rude in their brusqueness…..all of them hurt.  Happily none of the rejections told me to give up writing, but there was still pain associated to them.

Rather than give up, though, I started writing more.  Obviously, when over fifty professionals reject your work, there is something missing.  Either I did a poor job of selling the work to them, or my query letter sucked, or the book was no good.  One of those scenarios was necessary for there to be that many rejections.  It was left for me, then, to decide which one was true and to correct it.

I think I have corrected it with my new novel.  I am a better writer today than I was three years ago. I understand the framework of a good novel now, and I understand the key elements of a novel now….and it is because of the sting of rejection that today I can say that I am a better writer.


Have someone who is not a friend or relative read your manuscript before submitting it for publication.  You really need an unbiased opinion and too often friends and family are incapable of giving an unbiased opinion.



Hopefully this picture will get your creativity flowing.


The Idaho Poetry Prize is taking submissions for their poetry contest.  Entry fee is $25 and the winner takes home $1,000 and publication in their year-end review. Deadline is May 15th. For more information go to their site here.


A shout out to my friend Brian, a fellow writer on HubPages.  You can find his profile if you follow this link.  Brian is a pro: intelligent, well-read and very helpful in his comments and observations.  As an added bonus, he is a very good writer. Go pay him a visit.


I can’t promise but I think I’ll be back with another installment on Thursday. Until then have a great week and as always, thank you!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”